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Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers Dr Scott HOLLIER Presentation for OzeWAI November 2009 Introduction Cloud computing: what is it? Benefits and barriers of the cloud Addressing the cloud access issues MAA and RMIT research initiative Access trends

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accessibility in the cloud the benefits and barriers

Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers

Dr Scott HOLLIER

Presentation for OzeWAI November 2009

introduction
Introduction
  • Cloud computing: what is it?
  • Benefits and barriers of the cloud
  • Addressing the cloud access issues
  • MAA and RMIT research initiative
access trends
Access trends
  • Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard significantly improved access features
  • Netbooks cloud-focused
  • Free AT: NVDA and WebAnywhere
  • iPhone: many access features
cloud computing
Cloud computing
  • Internet-based development and delivery of computing technologies
  • Removes the need for the user to worry about physical computing infrastructure
types of cloud computing
Types of cloud computing
  • Software as a service (SaaS)
  • Platform as a service (PaaS): app creation
  • Database as a service
  • Utility computing (storage)
  • Web services: developer contribution
  • Managed: cloud task before user
  • Commerce platforms: SaaS + managed
  • Internet integration: all combined
popular cloud examples
Popular cloud examples
  • Mainstream cloud generally refers to SaaS and Utility, although future PaaS and Integrated likely
  • Current examples: Google Apps, web-based e-mail, Apple MobileMe, Amazon Kindle
  • Future examples: Windows Azure, Chrome OS
benefits of the cloud
Benefits of the cloud
  • Device-independence: most accessible devices can be used to access the cloud
  • Ease of use: no need to worry about hardware issues
  • Data security: lost or stolen devices do not mean lost or stolen data
  • Affordability: netbooks, free AT and SaaS equal affordable computing
benefits of the cloud8
Benefits of the cloud
  • Collaboration:
    • Overcome mobility issues
    • Disability perceived differently
    • Access to new services: health, education through NBN
    • Share experiences with family and friends
    • Crossover with social media (Google Docs)
barriers of the cloud
Barriers of the cloud
  • Broadband access poor
  • Steep learning curve
  • Data security: hacking potential 24/7, and can we really trust service providers?
barriers of the cloud10
Barriers of the cloud
  • Accessibility of the cloud itself:
    • Extremely hit-and-miss
    • Is it web? Is it application? Research still needed on how to make cloud accessible
    • Closest standards: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 (draft), but not cloud-specific
addressing the issues
Addressing the issues
  • Broadband (NBN rollout)
    • Universal availability
    • Quality of service: speed, reliability
    • Regulation: broadband as essential service
    • Affordability: how will NBN pricing work?
    • Service offerings: clarity for bundle plans
    • Equipment: public kiosks for NBN access
    • Support programs: training
addressing the issues12
Addressing the issues
  • Research initiatives for cloud access
    • Joint research between MAA and RMIT
    • Ultimate question: how can we provide cloud access to people with disabilities?
    • Work with both users and developers of the cloud and their respective technologies
    • Create metadata
    • Feed results into standards creation process
further information
Further information
  • Large collection of web resources: www.mediaaccess.org.au/newmedia
  • Advice is free
  • E-mail: scott.hollier@mediaaccess.org.au
  • Phone: (02) 9212 6242